Today, President Obama signed a new Presidential Policy Directive on Sub-Saharan Africa, taking another step in deepening the U.S- Africa partnerships. The new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which is derived from the Presidential Policy Directive, builds on numerous accomplishments of U.S.-Africa policy such as:
to strengthen democratic institutions
promote regional peace and security, engage with young African leaders and
promote development, trade, and investment.
President Obama's new Policy Directive for Sub-Saharan Africa comes at a time when the African continent is showing great economic promise. Over the past decade (2001- 2010), six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in Africa. Trade and investment are also on the rise- in 2010, total foreign direct investment was more than $55 billion—five times what it was a decade earlier, and much more than Africa receives in aid.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks to Parliament at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana, July 11, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy
This week, June 14-15 , the United States is hosting the 11th annual US-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum. The event is mandated by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA became law in October 2000. AGOA is the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. By providing duty-free access to the U.S. market, AGOA has succeeded in helping eligible sub-Saharan African nations grow and diversify their exports to the United States.
The theme of the AGOA 2012 Forum is “Enhancing Africa’s Infrastructure for Trade.”
In September 2009, President Obama launched the U.S. government’s global food security initiative, Feed the Future. Its goals are:
to boost food supplies through agricultural development;
to increase access to food through more efficientlyfunctioning markets, job growth, and higher incomes forpoor people;
to improve nutrition, especially among mothersand infants; and to build stronger food and agricultural systems and other institutions that can assure sustainable foodsecurity for years to come.
Sustaining the current progress in Africa requires investing in long-term development partnerships in order to accelerate sustainable - not just economic growth, but also promote food security, support the capacity of countries and communities to respond to diseases and rebuild infrastructure and combat climate change. These smart investments should be aligned with country-owned plans, include civil society and the private sector, while fostering mutual transpsrency, accountability and respect. Long-term progress to reduce poverty will depend on the capacity of each country to build on the gains achieved with donor assistance rather than having donor assistance replace its own efforts.
As the President said during his visit to Ghana, in 2009, the people of Africa are ready to claim their future. This new Presidential Policy Directive should promote partnership and mutual respect that allows the people of Africa and the U.S to work towards a more prosperous world.
U . S . S T R A T E G Y T O WA R D S U B - S A H A R A N A F R I C A U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa